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BEST statistics show hot air doesn’t rise off concrete!

Posted By Joanne Nova On November 1, 2011 @ 7:46 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled


BREAKING: Steven McIntyre reports that “649 Berkeley stations lack information on latitude and longitude, including 145 BOGUS stations. 453 stations lack not only latitude and longitude, but even a name. Many such stations are located in the country “[Missing]“, but a large fraction are located in “United States”. Steve says: “I’m pondering how one goes about calculating spatial autocorrelation between two BOGUS stations with unknown locations.”


The BEST media hit continues to pump-PR around the world. The Australian repeats the old-fake-news “Climate sceptic Muller won over by warming”.  This o-so-manufactured media blitz shows how desperate and shameless the pro-scare team is in their sliding descent. There are no scientists switching from skeptical to alarmist, though thousands are switching the other way.

The sad fact that so many news publications fell for the fakery, without doing a ten minute google, says something about the quality of our news. How is it headline material when someone who was never a skeptic pretends to be “converted” by a result that told us something we all knew anyway (o-look the world is warming)?

The five points every skeptic needs to know about the BEST saga:

1.  Muller was never a skeptic

Here he is in 2003:

“carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history.” [kudos to Ethicalarms]

And with Grist in 2008:

“The bottom line is that there is a consensus and the president needs to know what the IPCC says”.

2. BEST broke basic text-book rules of statistics

They statistically analyzed smoothed time series! Douglass Keenan quotes the guru’s “you never, ever, for no reason, under no threat, SMOOTH the series! ” (because smoothing injects noise into the data). BEST did, thus invalidating their results.

3. The BEST results are very “adjusted” and not the same as the original thermometer readings

Think hard about what we might have discovered in the 2000′s that meant thermometers in the 1970′s (but not the 1900′s) were accidentally recording “low temperatures”. How likely is it that raw thermometer readings all over the world, with a simple 300 year old technology, needed to be globally cooled or warmed a year at a time, and they seemed to be “out” for decades?

The BEST team deny thousands of lying thermometers, news articles, reports of snowfalls and frosts in the 1970′s. Is reality better reflected in historical archives of news reports, and original readings, or through adjustments and reanalysis 40 years later? Hmmm.

4.  Obviously hot air doesn’t rise off concrete

BEST tells us that the Urban Heat Island effect is minor, and misplaced thermometers don’t make any difference to the run. Thus with statistics we can show that hot air does not rise off concrete, that brick walls do not store and emit heat at night, that airport tarmacs don’t make any difference to the temperature trends of the air nearby. BEST say that the trends are accurate. We agree completely. We accept continuous trend data from all the thermometers that were sited in airports back in 1850. ;-)

We don’t need complex statistical rebuttals to put BEST back in it’s box. All we need to do is point at photos and say that BEST shows that these two thermometers are recording accurate trends compared to 150 years ago.

Remember, we’re looking for evidence of a 0.7 degree rise, over a hundred years with thermometers similar to this. Repeat after me, these are good thermometers, they’re in the right place, we know that, because the BEST project says so:

1 Just another open level clearing with 30m clearance from sources of artificial heat. Right? (Photo courtesy of Anthony Watts, www.surfacestations.org and Don Kostuch. )

2 Spot the “ level open clearing, with ground cover typical of the region” Just like in 1850 eh? Photo courtesy of Anthony Watts and

3 Concrete, grass, what's the difference?

There are more shots here, and of course from www.surfacestations.org and Watts Up.

5. The BEST data show the world hasn’t warmed for 13 years

The BEST project may have smoothed out the cooler 60s and 70s, but according to Judith Curry* still couldn’t find a warming trend in the 2000′s. China’s coal use has doubled — seriously — and it hasn’t made any difference to world temperature. Emissions are rising fast — remember,  “it’s worse than we thought” — but there’s no evidence that it matters. The warming started 300 years ago, and apparently, it just slowed down in the last decade.


6. The BEST group have their own vested conflicts

The BEST project might have got Koch funding, but the BEST group is a part of a climate engineering group Novim who say they do two things: 1/ push climate engineering to save us from “abrupt catastrophic consequences”, and 2/ “without advocacy” analyze the temperature record to see if part 1 is even worth contemplating. What does “advocacy” mean anymore?

And note that it’s good that the BEST team have made their data transparent, but if a study takes 18 months and needs $623,087 in donations to sort through and filter the results, then they’re fairly safe from someone doing a serious replication and criticism of their work.

You don’t need a science degree to know that the statistics are lying.



A Lesson for Skeptics

If there is anything skeptics are guilty of, it’s being too naive, too trusting, too willing to believe that their own strong moral compass is replicated in others.

There are people who are compulsive liars. Their moral compass tells them the ends justifies the means, and it’s OK to pretend to be a skeptic in order to get a headline pushing your favourite religion. It’s ok to release press releases about half-baked conclusions, and claim you aren’t trying to get media attention, and then disagree with the conclusions you stated yesterday. You are trying to save the world,  lies are “forgiveable”.

Judith Curry was baffled by Muller’s announcement. Jer, in the skeptics corner sums it up:

What he is trying to do Dr Curry is feed the narrative. We now have another temperature study (with your name on it) reportedly confirming global warming is caused by CO2, thank you very much.

Muller earned his 5-minutes-of-skeptical-fame by pointing out a few of the glaring errors of the Global Scare team, but all along he still accepted their results. Sure, they cheated, but their conclusions are still right… (?) it doesn’t make sense. But this Muller episode was never about the science, but about the theater, the perception, and the news headlines:

So that he and his solution to the problem of AGW can be the new authority. It is shape shifting, the old way of promoting the BIG lie has been discredited. So a new way of presenting the same lie is put forward, by garnering support of the skeptic crowd by pointing out the very distortions and lies which are the foundation of the original lie to begin with. It seems not to matter that  you can destroy the very foundation of the lie and still promote the lie itself! It is the very definition of intellectual dishonesty.

Judith Curry by the way has just threatened to quit.

UPDATE: Apparently she’s met Muller, and it’s all OK again. See Curry’s blog. Interesting.

A field of strawmen

As usual, watch out for the innumerate commentators — you know the ones — they box things in black and white, and think that if a skeptic wonders “how much warming” there was, or “how accurate” their thermometers are, that’s the same as “denying global warming”. Hello Deltoid, I know it’s tricky but try counting in decimals too. Just because Delingpole  rubbishes GISS doesn’t mean he thinks the temperatures have been flat constant since 1750.

It’s comforting to vilify your opponents when you are losing the argument, but to anyone who reads both sides, it’s obvious that believers of the Great Global Warming Scare are in a frenzied blitz, killing stone dead the apparitions of strawmen.


Hat tips: WUWT, Tom Nelson, Climate Depot

* The words “according to Judith Curry” were added after the article was published.

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